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Comment Re: Wifi replace fixed cabled systems no way! (Score 1) 64

Wireless charging works surprisingly well; but its efficiency is pretty atrocious compared to the resistive losses you would see with any remotely appropriate cable and connector. Losses to heat in battery charging are the same either way; and AC/DC conversion losses are somewhat higher with wireless charging(conversion efficiency will be the same; but the losses in wireless transmission mean that you will need more power at the wall to deliver the same amount of power to the device).

It certainly has its uses, where the absolute power levels are low enough that the losses just don't matter much; or where specific considerations make exposed electrical connections a no-go; but the losses are substantial if you need to deliver significant power.

Comment Re:Why not just keep using Esc then? (Score 1) 416

Depends on the size of your hands to some degree. I find that Ctrl-C Ctrl-V for example requires twisting the left wrist outward so the hand is angled to the left, and also requires stretching the fingers apart. The natural resting positions of hands which are together in front of you on a keyboard is for the hands to be pointed inward (left hand angled slightly to the right) with fingers not stretched in tendon tension apart.

Comment Re:How is everyone supposed to use Emacs? (Score 3, Interesting) 416

Ctrl+Anything is not ergonomic.

If you spend serious hours and days and weeks and months and years programming or doing IT admin, your hands will get damaged with the repeated stretches and twists needed to do Ctrl+whatever. You might say there are two-handed alternatives to the twisty-stretchy ones, but two handed gestures are prone to failure by reversed order of press.

These are all small details, yes, but ergonomic details make the difference when you have to do things thousands and thousands of times.

Esc is a single key action.

Comment Re:poor vim users (Score 3, Insightful) 416

No. We just won't be using macbooks for development any more. Shame really. I'm waiting for someone to make the ultimate linux-based software development laptop now. And it would be nice if it had some of the design cohesion and just-works features of apple products.

Before someone rants, of course developers use many other editor tools, but proper support of the terminal and vi is essential for a serious server-software (back end software, or IT admin) development box.

Comment Re:Skype Doesn't Claim Otherwise (Score 2) 42

While I would very much like to see improvements in the security of these services; it's also worth remembering that the 'alternative' is usually either POTS or cellular, provided by the local monopoly and/or cozy-cooperator-with-the-state.

That doesn't diminsh the fact that, when doing communications software on a global scale, something that counts as 'eh, bug' in silicon valley may involve a one-way trip to the basement of the interior ministry for a bunch of users somewhere; but secure communications is something where the 'default' option is somewhere between 'completely useless' and 'actively hostile'. Phone networks were never built with privacy or security(aside from anything needed for billing purposes) in mind; and they've since sprouted all manner of surveillance tools.

Just shrugging and saying 'Meh, the other guy is worse." isn't a good excuse; but it is worth remembering that people considering it to be a bug or vulnerability when eavesdropping succeeds is a pretty new feature.

Comment Re:Wifi replace fixed cabled systems no way! (Score 2) 64

One application that could be rather useful, for this standard(or even ones that use spectrum with even worse distance issues) would be the possibility of reducing the number of delicate connectors for devices that are docked/undocked frequently.

It's hard to beat copper for transferring power(yes, the various wireless charging schemes do work; but efficiency isn't pretty); but, particularly for low voltage, modest current, DC applications where ensuring safety is less of a challenge; you can use simple, robust, cheap connectors.

Connectors for high speed data are less pleasant, requiring some balance between very careful construction to allow high speeds over a limited number of lines and densely packing a whole lot of signal lines into something that still has to survive hundreds to tens of thousands of mate/unmate cycles and hopefully doesn't attract grit, pocket fuzz, and so on.

If you have a very high speed wireless link, even one with lousy penetration and high attenuation in air; you can potentially replace a complex and delicate data connector with one radio-transparent spot on the device chassis and one on the dock: no hole in the chassis, no connector to get damaged or full of crud, no fiddly pins getting bent or corroded; and since the two radios are very close together(ideally in a known position) power levels can be fairly low; and interference and noise would be less troublesome.

Given the issues with atmospheric attenuation; never mind walls, these very-high-speed wifi systems get rather less interesting at greater distances(though yes, SFP ports are creeping into APs, and that's consumer trash, not even some enterprise thing); but if the price isn't too high I'd be delighted to never see another laptop docking station connector again.

Comment Watches are worn as bling (Score 4, Insightful) 319

Most people have figured out that they carry their phone all the time so the watch is useless.

Some people think that a big platinum or gold looking one or diamond encrusted one still makes them look successful or alpha, whereas it really just makes them look quaint, narcissistic, and backward.

If you're really important, you have a person to tell you the time without you even having to ask.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 2) 319

It doesn't help that a lot of the 'watches as jewelry' types are either looking for jewelry in a budget(in which case spending a large fraction of the purchase price on expensive and largely invisible electronics, rather than most of the money on the attractive case, is less than totally attractive); or looking for the 'timeless' and 'heritage' and so on that watch ads are always going on about.

While technologically pointless, your zillion-jewel-fiddly-mechanical-movement is going to be just as nifty for at least decades, barring abuse. Anything 'smart' will be old news in 18 months, at most; and archaic within a few years. That isn't terribly compelling.

Comment Shocking. (Score 1) 319

It's almost as though a relatively small market got saturated; with some added bite from the (more limited; but substantially cheaper) 'fitness' bands that offer a much lower cost of entry to have an annoying gadget on your wrist and bothering you.

I never would have expected that outcome.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 4, Insightful) 317

It certainly isn't new; but it is, arguably, even more glaring(and idiotic) now that 'mobile' is such a thing.

Yes, the graphic designer who thinks that he's god's gift to beauty because the site 'looks good' on his color-calibrated multi-thousand-dollar Eizo has always deserved a smack; but that's especially true now that it is more likely that his target audience isn't just viewing the results on a smaller, cheaper, screen than he is; but on a tiny smartphone LCD, backlight dimmed for battery life, with a mirror finish to pick up every stray reflection and hint of sunlight.

Form over function has always been a danger; and failure to test your output on a reasonable simulation of what people will actually view it on has always been a mistake; but the contrast is particularly glaring when the gulf between the sort of screens that 'content creators' tend to use and the average quality of screens site visitors are using is so enormous. It has always been there; but it has not always been so wide.

Comment Re:If you can't see the text (Score 5, Interesting) 317

Remember those crazy, utopian, idealists who tried to design web standards so that content and presentation could be, and would be, cleanly separated; and thus easily adapted to the requirements of just about any user agent out there?

That dream isn't completely dead; but it sure doesn't get much respect from the cool kids(which can make the 'just impose your own CSS' trick pretty hairy on some of the touchier sites out there).

Comment Re:Supplier contracts. (Score 2) 44

Only if Intel misrepresented their product to Apple. If they did lie; that's going to be one unhappy conference call; but if they were chosen for being an adequate second source to reduce Apple's reliance on Qualcomm, rather than for being an equal or superior performer, this doesn't necessarily suggest that Intel failed to deliver what they promised.

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